Are You Well Connected?

Old tech vs. new techWhen I was a child, there was a sticker on the telephone at the house of an old relative. Yes, I mean the telephone (there was just the one). The official looking AT&T sticker read “wait for dial tone.” When we visited, I’d wait for no one to be looking so I could pick up the phone and listen. Sure enough, there was always a dial tone–the days of waiting for an operator or mechanical switch to connect a circuit were already gone (I’m not that old). Things were connected!

Folks in my generation tend to snicker at younger folks who seem to be constantly interrupted by text messages and various notifications. Yet I recall being trained to drop everything the moment the telephone rang. You had to answer the phone because it might be important (and the answering machine had yet to be introduced…yes I am that old). Kids these days text long before they call, and only pay attention to a phone call if they know it’s important. They seem to find it easier to postpone interacting with incoming data than we give them credit for. They are so connected, they have evolved tiers and filters. They know the information will be at their disposal on their terms when they are ready.

What does any of this have to do with project management, you ponder?

Our Spitfire Project Management System (sfPMS) maintains an incredibly sophisticated catalog of documents and files across the lifespan of a project, providing organization and details about versions and revisions and who knew what and when. A decade ago, we relied on email to help “spread the word” about changes, but while email is still one possible vehicle, it really doesn’t handle those files well, potentially creating confusion and violating the principles of “single version of the truth.” In 2015, we need to be better connected than that!

As I write this, we have begun a controlled beta test of the newest feature of our Spitfire Project Management System: live cloud drive integration with providers like Box.com, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and others. Each cloud-published document in sfPMS creates a corresponding folder on the mapped cloud drive. Attachments in sfPMS are mirrored to the cloud drive and updated in moments. If a file is changed (or added) in the cloud folder, it will appear in sfPMS. Our system retains full version information across time–but project partners are better connected to what needs to be shared, on their terms, when ever and where ever they are ready.

Is your project management system connected? Or are you still waiting for that dial tone?

 

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